Monday, June 30, 2008
The market was another cultural experience. We all wanted to be with Elizabeth because of her wonderful negotiating skills. I think she is now part Ghanaian. Gabby gets the prize for buying the largest gift. I have no idea how it is getting home. I don't even know what it is because it is wrapped in plastic.
The Compassion International site visit went very well. About 250 children sang, danced and quoted Scripture for us. We then visited two homes of children waiting fo sponsors. They lived in a "house" that was 5'X5'. There were 3 living the home.
We are about to enjoy chicken and french fries for dinner and then depart for the airport. We hope to sleep from Accra to London, but many of us will be too busy thinking about and processing everything we have seen and done this week. God has been so good to us and we are thankful for His wonderful goodness.
PLEASE PRAY US SAFELY HOME.
We are looking forward to seeing all of you. We are also discussing our first American meal. I heard someone say they were craving Chick Fil A. Personally, I can't wait to have a Dr. Pepper.
Everyone is happy and well. How can one be so sad and yet so happy at the same time?
Blessings to you all,
P.S. Martin's room was decorated from stem to stern in white toilet paper. The girls also printed out "Happy Birthday" and somehow got it up on the wall. Where did they find tape? He says "payback is sweet".
Sunday, June 29, 2008
We brought Pastor Mohammed back with us on the plane.
Tomorrow we visit Agbogbloshie, a Dagbani village near Accra. This is the first village Vickie and I went to 5 years ago. We will go there to see old friends, but also to pray with and encourage them.
After that, we visit the cultural center (market).
After that, we go to see Pastor Moses at All Souls Baptist Church. This also happens to be a site visit for Compassion International.
We depart Mon at 10:30pm, (ghanaian time). Please pray for a safe journey and rest. We arrive home Tues around 2:30pm.
The kids are having great fun this afternoon. It is Martin's birthday and they want to secretly decorate his room. The only thing we have is toilet paper, so we will see what happens. We have found out that he loves country and western music, so maybe we will sing him a song, Texas style.
Everyone is happy and well. The team has really bonded. Upon arrival to the Miklin, instead of going to our rooms for peace and quiet, we all sat around and talked for over 2 hours.
I am encouraging all the team members to post comments and updates on the blog in the days to come, so check back often.
We are anxious to be home, but sad to leave.
Blessings, Cheryl Read
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thank you for your prayers. There have been problems with internet connections locally here, hence the lack of information recently on the blog, but please rest assured and know that we are all well and God is answering prayer and blessing our efforts here.
In recent days we have had the opportunity of speaking to a large number of people from the Dagbani tribe about Jesus Christ for the very first time! We have also been running VBS style activities in a local school for tribal children, registering families for state health care, teaching Sunday School teachers how to plan lessons, partnering with the Ghana Baptist Seminary in Tamale and engaging in one to one street evangelism, visiting and bringing supplies to a local Christian orphanage, acquiring Bibles in the native mother-tongue of the Dagbani tribe for the leaders of the Christian Churches, assiting in local evening 'crusades'......
GOD IS GOOD! Praise God for all of His many blessings. We have seen a number of people come to know Jesus Christ as Lord this week! Souls have been saved!
All of this is of course God's work and not our own. We are continually aware of the need to rely and trust in Him at all times. It is a process during which we have felt His strength, but at the same time we are accutely aware of the forces of evil that constantly surround this region. Even as I type this post, I can hear the Muslim call to prayer wailing in through the window.
Thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. Please keep them coming! We are due to leave the Northern Region (Tamale) on Sunday at 11.45am (local time) and return to Accra. We will be leaving Ghana Monday late afternoon for London as scheduled.
Written by Martin Jones for all of the Mission Ghana 08 team.
The last few days have been incredible. The team has been extremely busy from early morning until late evening. Also, there has been no internet access and that is why there has not been any updates.
Everyone is doing just fine. Everyone is well and safe and good. Ashley told me she was loving every minute off this and she does not want to leave, but not to worry, I will make sure she gets on the plane home. Gabby is my morning sunshine. She wakes up every morning, throws her hands in the air and loudly proclaims, "Good Morning Mrs. Read!".
Yesterday, the entire team went to Kushibo to help register over 275 for healthcare services. The healthcare is free, but there is a fee to register. The villagers are too poor to pay the fee. Being able to meet not only spiritual needs, but humnaitarian needs is a wonderful thing. The villagers were so appreciative that they gave us more eggs. We ate them for breafast this morning.
Yesterday afternoon, we went to meet Richard Newman's World Vision sponsored child. Richard, you would have been so proud. Almost the entire team danced with the village drummers and took probably hundreds of pictures to share with you. You are a famous man in this village and they have asked that you come and stay with them. Jason, Zach and I went to Moses' hut and met his parents. He was presented with the gifts and funds you sent. He is a very handsome young man and was so appreciative. In your honor, they presented us with about 60 guinea eggs. I may have trouble bringing them on the plane, though.
Last night was our last night of the crusade. I think that there have been about 25 converts. More on that later.
Last night was also our last training sessions. Vickie and Stephanie have done an excellent job training the teachers to teach Sunday School.
This afternoon is the orphan home visit. I'm not sure our hearts can take it. Birgitte and Elizabeth will be presenting items from our team. We brought bottles, diapers, clothes and shoes. Thank you so much to those of you that contributed financially.
I am being called away for lunch so I cannot write any more. Today we are headed also to the Ghana Bible Society. Doug and Martin are purchasing 30 Bibles to give to the leaders at Tarikpaa Church. This will be a huge blessing to them.
There is so much more than I cannot write now. Please continue with your comments and prayers. Your words encourage us to "keep on keeping on."
Like rain, God poured down his Spirit upon the Crusades on Tues, Wed and Thurs evenings.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Presently, we are at Pat and Peggy's for a stopover to drop off the goat. We gave it to Lansah, the caretaker for the Ozments. He has many children and is very poor. This will feed his famiy for one week.
The children named the goat "William" and I promised them we would not serve him for dinner while we are here.
Instead, I have sent our driver to the market to get yam balls for a treat. They are like hushpuppies.
Mom Peggy is "babysitting" the children tonight. They are going to sit on her screened-in front porch and play games and eat ice cream while the adults go to Rev Wuni's church and train Sunday school teachers.
This day has been very productive, praise God. The students did an outstanding job in the village school.
I was able to sit under a big African tree and do "storying" with about 50 village women. They were very receptive and listened well. I was more blessed than I can describe here.
Pray Pray Pray for the work as it continues. Pray for our health, pray for God's spirit to be like a fire through the villages and schools. Pray for good understanding with our interpreters. Pray for Phatou, our Muslim driver. Zach invited him to sit with him at the back of the church during Martin's sermon. This is huge for a devout Muslim man to enter a Christian church. He especially loved Mary's song. Mom Peggy says that Phatou is a man of peace, rather than a man of goodwill, and men of peace are more accepting of the Gospel.
More later. The yam balls have arrived!!!!! Salisbury steak for dinner. MMMMmmmmmm..........
Our plane to Tamale!
We arrive at the guest house in Tamale
Paul, Cynthia and Baby Nepari!
We head off for the Kushibo for the Church opening
We greet the head chief of the region and are welcomed by him
We arrive at the Church
Cheryl and Village leaders cut the ribbon to open the new Heritage Baptist Church Kushibo!
Dancer's worshipCheryl presents the funds to buy a grinding wheel for the village!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Today was a true African experience for all the team members from African tribal dances to seeing poverty up close and personal. We participated in the Kushibo church commission services, which has been named Heritage Baptist Church. First, we met with the chief of Zugu who granted us permission to enter the village because Kushibo has not named the new chief yet. Then it was the start of the day's adventures. We arrived at Kushibo with a warm welcome from all the children who attached themselves to each and everyone of us. Each child grabbed on to all of our fingers. Cheryl Read helped cut the ribbon with Pastor Steven to enter the new church. The commission started off with wonderful Dagbani worship. Martin Jones entertained us all with his wonderful dance moves. We all soon followed after him.
On a serious note it was obvious to see the great spiritual and physical need of the people of Kushibo. The preacher's message was directed at the Muslim leaders in the village who were there at the service. Even though they were probably not Christians we know that a seed was planted.
Martin preached a wonderful sermon at Koinonia Baptist Church and Mary sang a beautiful song.
God is answering prayers and all of the members of the team are well. Please continue to pray for us and the Ghanaians we interact with.
Team Mission Ghana 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
It was a smaller plane than we expected, but God is good and the flight was also good. We arrived just in time for a quick lunch (another dose of Chicken and Rice) and off to an opening ceremony at Pastor Wuni's church. (Well, after a quick hugfest with Pat and Peggy.) In addition to his church, Pastor Wuni is the president of the Tamale Baptist Association and student in the seminary where Pat Ozment (IMB missionary) teaches.
As the ceremony was concluding, the Ghanians announced that it is their custom to share a drink of water (valuable resource) with their honored guests. Two men brought in a cooler, and we were very relieved to see that they had a bottle of Coke-a-Cola for each person. They also had meat kabobs, which we nibbled at so as not to offend.
After other greetings and meetings. We went to Pat and Peggy's house. Peggy had offered to fix dinner for the whole team. We were prepared for another feathered friend to sacrifice it's life for dinner, but Peggy fixed spaghetti and for dessert we had poundcake with chocolate syrup! The kids are thinking this is not such a bad place!!
Another blessing, and there have been many already, our group was to be split into two guest houses with Elizabeth, Birgitte, Martin, Mary and Aidan staying a short distance away for two nights. Peggy offered to host them, and they quickly agreed, so they are staying with Pat and Peggy for the first two nights. What a deal!
We just love people from Alabama. They are not Texans, but they sure are family. It is easy to see how God can use people like this.
We are exhausted, but excited about what God has planned for tomorrow. Please pray for the ribbon-cutting and Worship service at Kushibu church.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Good news is that everyone is well and personal belongings also arrived. Things are going according to plan with Francis and Cecelia Osei, along with Pastor Mohammed, meeting the team at the airport and getting everyone to the hotel.
Of the 13 boxes being shipped, 3 did not make the transfer in London. British Airways assured us that they will send the boxes on to the northern region in the next day or two. Please pray that the boxes are located and do indeed catch up to the team. They contain teachings supplies for use with the children in the school.
Saturday morning (which is around 1am in Texas), the team boards another plane for the final destination, Tamale.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Check this blog daily for updates from the field! You are encouraged to leave comments, words of encouragement, prayers, etc. on the blog. The entire team will be able to see them.
The purpose of this mission trip is very simple. We are going to tell the Dagomba tribe of Ghana, West Africa, about Jesus. Many of them have never even heard His name.
We ask that you pray for our safety, health and boldness in witnessing.
There is a link to a detailed prayer calendar on the right side of the page. Won't you join us in asking God to bring a great harvest of souls into His Kingdom?